The landscape of the thin double helix of Islesboro is notably different from the other islands in the bay. Twelve miles long, and only a few miles wide, much of the island is flat and forested, cut by a few round-the-island roads that almost cry out to meet the wheels of a bicycle.
The population of the island measures a mere 658, though of course that is supplemented every year by the wealthy summer residents. The latter congregate at the southern end of the harbor in the evocatively named Dark Harbor, a moneyed resort community full of the imposing summer cottages owned by generations of wealthy families, and a smattering of Hollywood stars (John Travolta and Kirstie Alley being the most famous summer residents).
Most of the island, however, is refreshingly down to earth, with quiet country lanes threading through the more modest homes of the year-round population, who offer plenty of waves as you bicycle past.
Currently there is no lodging available on the island, but its small size and pretty shoreline make it a worthwhile day trip.
The Maine State Ferry Service (Lincolnville, 207/789-5611, www.maine.gov ) offers almost hourly service from the ferry terminal on Lincolnville beach (between Camden  and Belfast ). The ride takes only 20 minutes. Fares are $10 round-trip for adults, $4.75 round-trip for children ages 5–11. Children under 5 ride free. Plan well ahead if you want to bring a car over with you on the ferry, especially during the summer months when berths can be quite limited. Vehicle tickets are $27.50 round-trip. If you prefer to leave your wheels on the mainland, the best way to get around is by bicycle, which you should rent before you board at the Tidewater Motel (Main St., 207/863-4618). Bike tickets are $8.50 round-trip for adults and $5.50 for children. Otherwise, you’ll have to make arrangements for a pick-up from your lodging, as there are no taxis on the island.